T-X Family of Systems
Boeing T-X is an all-new aircraft designed specifically for the U.S. Air Force training mission. Boeing’s design takes advantage of the latest technologies, tools and manufacturing techniques. It is an advanced aircraft designed to evolve as technologies, missions and training needs change. The design is more affordable and flexible than older, existing aircraft.
The Boeing T-X aircraft has one engine, twin tails, stadium seating and an advanced cockpit with embedded training. The system also offers state-of-the-art ground-based training and a maintenance-friendly design for long-term supportability. T-X will replace the Air Force’s aging T-38 aircraft. Initial operating capability is planned for 2024. Boeing and its partner Saab AB will use their two production T-X aircraft, revealed Tuesday 13 September 2016, to show the US Air Force the performance, affordability, and maintainability advantages of their approach. “Our T-X is real, ready and the right choice for training pilots for generations to come,” said Boeing Defense, Space & Security President and CEO Leanne Caret.
On 06 December 2013 Boeing and Saab AB signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) to jointly develop and build a new advanced, cost-efficient T-X Family of Systems training solution for the upcoming competition to replace the U.S. Air Force's aging T-38 aircrew training system. The JDA, with Boeing as the prime contractor and Saab AB as primary partner, covers areas including design, development, production, support, sales and marketing. The winner of the T-X competition will eventually replace the Northrop T-38 Talon, which has served as the USAF’s advanced jet trainer since the 1960s. The procurement could reach up to 350 units.
Saab and Boeing were tight-lipped about their collaborative bid for the USAF's T-X program. While other bidders had a preference for existing designs, it was said that Saab and Boeing decided on a clean-sheet design that would not be a variant of the Gripen. Boeing had previously released T-X concept art.
"Teaming with Saab will bring together our companies' formidable technical expertise, global presence, and willingness to present an adaptable and affordable advanced pilot training solution," said Boeing Military Aircraft President Chris Chadwick. "Boeing and Saab form the foundation for what will be the strongest, most cost-effective industry team. Our comprehensive Family of Systems approach provides a new, purpose-built T-X aircraft supported by innovative training and logistics support to offer total-life-cycle cost benefits to the U.S. Air Force and taxpayers."
"Saab is proud to join with Boeing for the T-X competition, thus creating a highly capable team to deliver unprecedented value to the customer. We are sure this is the best way to supply affordable first-class trainers to the U.S. Air Force," said Saab President and CEO Håkan Buskhe. "We will invest in development of this completely new aircraft design over the coming years. This cooperation with Boeing is part of our strategic development and we confirm our long-term financial targets."
Boeing and Saab look forward to the upcoming acquisition process, which will lead to the customer awarding the contract. The U.S. Air Force T-X program will include aircraft and training that will prepare warfighters for the next 40 years. The Air Force plans to replace the T-38 with a new Advanced Pilot Training Family of Systems and about 350 aircraft, plus associated ground-based training systems and logistics and sustainment support.
The trainer solution from Boeing and Saab with other potential team members will be a completely new designed aircraft, built to meet the needs of the Air Force. Swedish defense and security company Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions ranging from military defense to civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents and constantly develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs. Saab is a $4 billion business with approximately 14,000 employees in about 35 countries.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $33 billion business with 58,000 employees worldwide.
The link with Saab became possible when the Swedish government launched development of the new JAS 39E version at the beginning of 2013. Sweden and Switzerland planned to order only JAS 39E single-seaters, but the two-seat 39F is a straightforward development.
Early reports on a "decontented" Saab Gripen have been dispelled. On 12 September 2013, Lennart Sindahl, Saab´s execuctive vice president and head of Saab’s Business Area Aeronautics, clarified the company’s position on teaming with Boeing on the T-X program using a Gripen derivative. “With the new development of the Gripen E version we expect it to remain in that position for many years to come. But a great fighter aircraft does not necessarily make a good trainer. We remain focused on the continued development of the Gripen E and the fighter will never be a trainer,” Sindahl said.
In August 2016 Boeing quietly launched new content on its website related to its T-X design, a co-development with Saab, which had been kept under a blanket of secrecy for years. The site includef four video “sneak peak” looks at computer generated images of the plane from various angles, as well as a pair of new promo images. It had been widely been expected that Boeing and Northrop will both bring their designs to the annual Air Force Association meeting in Washington DC starting 19 Septembe 2016.
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